What readers had to say this week on local stories, May 13-19 – The Durango Herald

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People weigh in on Ascent’s bid, a church displaying a campaign sign, the Ute Pass Fire and the Abortion Rally

Each week, we highlight some of the most insightful, passionate and witty comments shared on Facebook in response to stories in The Herald of Durango.

This week, readers weighed in on the leadership of the Colorado Board of Education to have Durango’s 9-R School District consider charter school application from Ascent Classical Academies, a campaign billboard for U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert posed outside a Durango area church, the cause of the Ute Pass Fire and Abortion Rally.

We welcome readers’ comments and reactions to local stories: people can chime in via our Facebook page, at the bottom of local news on our website at www.durangoherald.com, or by writing a letter to the editor.

Here are some comments that stood out this week:

Story: Colorado Board of Education orders Durango School Board 9-R to review charter application

The Colorado Board of Education ordered Durango School District 9-R to reconsider its decision to decline to consider Ascent Classical Academies’ charter school application by August 1. (Durango Herald file)

“I’m not opposed to the charter school, but I’m not convinced there’s a need for it either. I don’t know what problem Ascent is trying to solve and that these problems could not be solved within the current schooling options in our area. The argument I seem to hear the most is that people deserve more options, but if that’s still the argument, should every child have their own school? What is the balance between there? The sprawl of resources in our current schools also has consequences. Does the benefit of starting a new school outweigh the cost? – Dani Gladden

“Big win for Ascent! 9-Rs should be concerned that many students will be leaving, but they should also agree that they should have the choice to do what’s best for their families. Many families who have left the district to home school would return if Ascent opened Hundreds of expressions of interest should not be overlooked. Kristin Gail Dalison

“Honoring the separation of church and state is extremely important. Digging a little deeper, Ascent Academy appears to be a religious school trying to use non-religious-sounding language to secure public funding. Ascent Academy is an affiliate of Hillsdale College Barney Charter School Initiative. Hillsdale is a religiously oriented school and, according to their website, “the moral principles of Christianity as commonly understood in the Christian tradition have been essential to the mission of the college”. Upholding the constitution requires a separation of church and state, so no public funds for religious schools, no matter how hard they try to articulate their mission. I am for religious freedoms, but religious charter schools should not receive public funding! If anyone has a problem with secular learning, you have a choice between home schooling or private schools. – Lisa-Auto

“This ‘battle’ between the Durango 9-R School Board and the parent group, Building Durango’s Future, is an unfortunate situation. Neither side is completely candid about the information that is released to the public. Eventually, the lawsuit will be decided and part of the truth will be made public. Perhaps. However, future school elections are likely to be ugly. We already know how political campaigns can spread misinformation and outright lies. Democracy is not easy. – Carl Ellison

Story: Campaign sign placed in front of Durango area church raises questions

A campaign sign for U.S. Representative Lauren Boebert sits in front of Christ Church on Florida Mesa Tuesday along Colorado Highway 172 south of Elmore’s Corner. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

“There should be no doubt – post political signs, carry on tax rolls. And let’s be honest, it seems almost every church wants to be involved in politics to some degree. So let’s make it simple and apply property taxes at the commercial rate…their factory levy applied at 29% of their assessment, so they can have all the signs they want! There is merit in the idea that churches should pay taxes whether or not they participate in public discourse. There is nothing in the Constitution that exempts religious institutions from taxation. It’s nothing more than a long-standing tradition. – David Black

History: DFPD says Ute Pass Fire northeast of Durango was accidental, man-made

An air tanker crashes into the Ute Pass Fire on Friday northeast of Durango. Firefighters say a heavy-duty brushcutter hit a rock and started the roughly 30-acre blaze. (Courtesy of Brett Stallings, via Facebook)

“I’ve been mitigating my property for years. Even a random chainsaw spark can trigger something. I’m not even talking about gasoline, but about an electric chainsaw whose chain and bar give off random sparks. It scares me as a prospect – trying to do good and end up doing bad. I usually take a fire extinguisher with me and take care of the ground cover first. There are areas on my property where it is safe to work in constant winds, and others where I will not go in March. I usually do all the chainsaw work before it dries out and physically transport it in a trailer a month later (about now). I just hope it starts to rain. It’s scary. ‘April showers’ without a drop. – Beavis Senior

“I would just like to say that as a resident who was forced to evacuate, I harbor no ill will towards anyone who accidentally starts a fire with a lawnmower under these conditions. It could have been any of us “Accidents are just that. There was no malice. Intent matters, and I’m sure that neighbor had no intention of doing anything but mowing his lawn. My heart is with them because I’m sure they feel bad. Thank you firefighters!” – Kate Fisher

Story: Protesters gather in Buckley Park for a march in support of abortion rights

More than 100 protesters marched down Main Avenue on Saturday to defend women’s rights over their own bodily autonomy. (Christian Burney/Durango Herald)

“The total ban on abortion is a religious law based on the religious belief that a collection of developing prefetal cells is a ‘baby’. A lot of people don’t believe that. Yet, some states will completely ban abortion? So women will lose the right to bodily autonomy at the time of conception? It’s crazy. It’s fine to think of a prefetus on the day of conception as a “person,” but your religious beliefs shouldn’t apply to others. A reasonable time for women to have abortions should be a constitutional right to freedom (from government interference in our lives). – Tom Williamson

“Yesterday I was with friends near Planned Parenthood of Durango as we offer goodwill for all, as the ‘We Will Help You’ sign proclaims. The prayers of many are directed to customers, staff and other people caught up in the actions that take place within the walls of confusion of Planned Parenthood Honestly, the help offered is comprehensive and loving at crisis pregnancy centers such as Lifeguard, which is just across the the street Ultrasounds are free Consultation is immediate and non-judgmental Job interviews can be arranged Money can be sent for housing, food, utilities and there are families willing to adopt through the Four Corners. The same is true all over the United States, because you don’t have to travel far to find similar organizations. So before making a decision, I would like expectant mothers to e t future dads find out what a 7-week-old fetus looks like and study its development. The expectant child is alive and growing with human DNA from human parents and has unique value. Please consider offering your equally precious life sustaining bodily sanctuary in order to keep or place your child for adoption. Your options for life are immeasurable, however, the option for death is sudden and finite. Yes, life is difficult and the future largely unknown, but the preciousness of life is always worth the chance to have love in the highest realm. BTW (by the way), at that rally in Buckley Park, it was said that pro-lifers don’t care about the fate of pregnant couples – that’s not true. Also Herald refuses to publish this notice. Hmm? – Sandy McLaughlin


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